Aug 14, 2022

By Jeremy Logan

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Canadian Blood Services says it is in talks with companies that pay donors for plasma as it faces a decrease in collections.

The blood-collection agency issued a statement on Friday saying it is in “ongoing discussion with governments and the commercial plasma industry” on how to more than double domestic plasma collection to 50% of supply.

Canadian Blood Services has previously cautioned that letting companies trade cash for plasma could funnel donors away from voluntary giving.

The practice is banned in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec

The agency issued a plea earlier this week for donors to book and keep appointments, noting collections have been decreasing since July 1st despite a constant need for plasma in transfusions for surgery, cancer patients and accident victims.

The organization says the number of people who donate blood regularly dropped by 31,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving it with the smallest donor base in a decade.

The agency has opened five new plasma donor centres in the last few years, with six more planned by 2024 in an effort to draw 25% of its supply from Canadian donors, but it says “more needs to be done” to reach the 50% threshold, including potentially working with private partners.

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